Bangladesh cricket team escape Christchurch mosque after gunman opens fire

A view of the Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch

A witness said Friday many people have been killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Police have confirmed they are responding to a "critical incident".

People in central Christchurch have been urged to stay indoors and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to authorities.

ESPN cricket reporter Mohammad Isam tweeted that a team from Bangladesh "escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters".

"They told me that five people died over there in that mosque, and I have seen with my own eyes, three people dead on the street", he said.

Another eyewitness said people are being evacuated from near a second mosque in Christchurch and police are swarming the area.

Christchurch resident Katherine Jamieson is in lockdown in her home, which is located down the road from the Mosque.

Witnesses say as many as 300 people were inside the Christchurch mosque when a man wearing a military-style jacket opened fire.

Bangladesh are scheduled to play New Zealand in the third and final Test of the series starting from Saturday.

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Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh's highest run scorer, said he and his teammates were able to flee to safety following reports that 20 shots were fired.

"Police believe there may be other offenders", the New Zealand Police tweeted.

Armed police were deployed in the city near where the shooting happened in Hagley Park at 1.40pm (NZT) on Friday and schools across the city are now in lockdown.

"When I heard that there is a shooting - the sound whats coming".

"There is a barricade in the middle so if somebody gets inside by using the main door they have to come inside and walk maybe one minute".

A nearby business owner told stuff.co.nz that a lot of people were praying at the mosque at the time of the incident.

"When that was happening, one of the players had called me to contact the police".

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team after the attack.

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